Rebellion Is the Circle of a Lover's Hands


Poems in English and Spanish that discuss what it means to be Puerto Rican in the United States today.

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Poems in English and Spanish that discuss what it means to be Puerto Rican in the United States today.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Astonishingly bold young poet." — New York Times Book Reviews

"Espada is a responsible and caring poet with a talent that equals his task." — Gary Soto, Small Press

"His poems are, by turns, ferocious, tender, ardently political or touching biographical." — Christian Science Moniter

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The American-born son of Puerto Rican parents, Espada ( Trumpets from the Islands of Their Eviction ) writes from the sharpened perspective of political activism (he is a tenant lawyer) and the experience of discrimination. ``Yes, / I am / one of those lawyers / who smuggles / Sandinistas / into the country,'' he says. Many of the poems take a historical view; in ``La tumba de Buenaventura Roig,'' Estrada recalls the exploitation of Puerto Rico by ``occupation armies and sugarcane-patrones.'' Other poems such as ``Niggerlips'' assume a more personal tone, demonstrating the sad ignorance that characterizes racism on the one hand--``Niggerlips was the high school name / for me''--and the ironic self-awareness it impels on the other--``My great-grandfather Luis / was correct/pk un negrito too / . . . The family called him a secret / and kept no photograph.'' All the poems are fine, but Espada is at his best in his pieces about the plight of migrant workers and refugees from Central America, such as ``Federico's Ghost,'' the story of a proud boy killed by spray from a cropduster. This bilingual volume was awarded the 1989 PEN/Revson Award. (Nov.)
Library Journal
Espada, a lawyer of Puerto Rican descent, here continues the denunciatory message of his two previously published collections. These 34 short poems, about half of which have already seen publication in literary journals, document the victimization of downtrodden and alienated Hispanics. Universalized, this victimization ultimately reflects the plight of all oppressed minorities. The combative, oppositional free verse, tinged with sardonic humor, provides the appropriate medium for the politically activist tone. This bilingual edition, with a facing Spanish version translated from the original English in collaboration with the author, is suitable for American ethnic literature, especially Nuyorican collections.-- Lawrence Olszewski, OCLC, Dublin, Ohio
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780915306954
  • Publisher: Northwestern University Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/1995
  • Pages: 123
  • Sales rank: 835,202
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Martín Espada (born 1957) is a Latino poet, and professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he teaches poetry. Puerto Rico has frequently been featured as a theme in his poems.

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